Willingly Becoming A Burn Victim?


#1

A friend of mine on Facebook whom I absolutely love for his fascinating arguments for the historicity of not only Jesus but his miracles (which he claims there is historical consensus on) yet can’t seem to see how universal reconciliation can be incorporated into Christianity because he thinks that it defeats the entire point.

I’ve tried to counter this a few times, but have been trying to work on better arguments to show the illogicalness of it. For one, if someone believed that God is good and sin will naturally lead to pain and death, then why would they follow the latter path? And if they don’t believe then they wouldn’t be a Christian anyway. Perhaps there is some room in the middle for people on the fence, but I’d think that doubts or alternatively faith would lead in those directions accordingly.

But this is probably the best analogy I can come up with so far:

Some people, despite very severe third degree burns, are able to have surgery done on them so that they are restored to their former health and appearance.

Yet because of this, would anyone willingly play in a burning house simply because they figure that they can be made right again and everything will go back to normal?

And if not, then why would anyone who genuinely believed that hell existed play around with a lifestyle that would lead down that path, even if they DID think that eventually they’d be saved from it? It makes no more sense if hell is of finite duration then if it is of infinite duration.

Basically… if someone realizes that the path to blessing and union with God can only be turning back around and going the opposite direction, and that the further they go, the further they’ll have to come back, then why would they even continue?

The gospel of grace was perverted, too. And what was Paul’s response to those who said, “Let us sin so that grace may be increased?” Simple - “Their condemnation is deserved.” And rightly so - they’re mindfully, consciously sealing their own fate…


#2

Another way of putting it is this:

Let’s say that construction workers are building a house. A bulldozer accidentally knocks a section off, and they rebuild it. It happens again to another section which they again rebuild. After a few times the head of construction asks the workers why they aren’t upset over this. They just start shrugging and saying, “Hey, it doesn’t matter at all that the driver keeps knocking it down. We can always rebuild it again!”

That’s how little sense this argument makes. If Christianity is true then there are two opposing directions one can go in - one being death and destruction and the other life and love. But is there any less point to it just because the life and love are so redemptive that they can counteract anything that gets in their way? That makes as little sense as saying that there is no point to building a house…


#3

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

It is God’s will that mankind be saved, and it is through God’s power that mankind is saved, and it is through God’s Son and the crucifixion that mankind is saved.

In other words, God saw fit to save mankind, sent his son to do so, and his will is to achieve the full salvation of all mankind, and he sent his son to achieve that will.

If Salvation is through Christ alone, and through God alone or any of his divine graces; Grace through Faith, etc. Then it would seem to me that for God to not achieve the salvation of mankind, a plan which has been in motion since before the foundation of the world even began…

Would be for God to be a house divided against himself, which would collapse the very universe that depends upon His ability to stand unchangeable, undefeatable, and immutable.

For God to have a will (the salvation of all mankind), do an action to achieve that will, and then fail in achieving that will for any reason outside of himself and his sovereignty, is to subjugate the very Godhead to defeat, and perhaps even destruction.


#4

I’m not sure I understand the objection to UR that your friend raises. Is it, “If all are ultimately saved then why not continue sinning?” If that’s the case then I’d point him to what Paul wrote in reply to this same argument, except concerning grace. After speaking of the universal salvation through the sacrifice of Christ in Rom. 5, he addresses this issue in Romans 6. And it is significant to note that Paul doesn’t in any way correct or amend the radical statement of universal salvation he affirmed in 5:18 specifically.

I also point to the concept of an “appeal to consequences of a belief” being a Logical Fallacy. It is so because 1) consequences are “assumed”, not established. 2) Whether believing in UR leads someone to a “holier” life or not has no bearing on whether or not UR is true. And 3) from personal experience UR and its different understanding of judgment has compelled me personally towards a holier life-style and a more passionate love for God and people.


#5

Stellar Renegade said:
“Basically… if someone realizes that the path to blessing and union with God can only be turning back around and going the opposite direction, and that the further they go, the further they’ll have to come back, then why would they even continue?”

I think part of the problem is that even as Christians we are still working with faulty equipment (not ignoring regeneration) but part of us is self-destructive and willful- we do not always follow the logical path.
At least I can say this for myself.

This is one reason I was convinced that grace must be able to reach beyond this rebellious state or else (in my old way of thinking) one’s salvation was lost or put in jeopardy- ‘now you’re saved- now you’re not’; put in jeopardy by fluctuating spiritual enthusiasm, if you like.
This seemed a ridiculous position, according to my accepted paradigm (though a position widely held by many, I suspect).
But I came in time to believe in ‘once saved, always saved’- that once one had accepted Christ you couldn’t outstep His Grace.

This, didn’t seem to be entirely satisfactory for me either but it was a stepping stone to being convinced of UR.

The path wasn’t quite as distinct as I’ve painted and was always studded by study and prayer (though I suspect not enough of the latter).

God bless
S


#6

of course, sin doesn’t burn all that much to start.
for example, most smokers know it’s bad for them…still they do it. there’s an addiction factor of course, but that’s not all of it.

also running your fingers through a candle flame, to continue the burning analogy, is warm but not that dangerous…but you’re still playing with fire. it’s kind of exciting though, and the day that it might possibly burn you seems remote or even impossible…

but none of that is an argument against UR. it means something is broken in us that only God can fix!